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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Polish-German conflict over nuclear power begins

 It seems that next to Nord Stream 2 and threats of war reparations by Warsaw, another conflict takes shape: the dispute over nuclear energy.

Poland is planning large investments in nuclear energy. The development of this sector enjoys cross-party support. It will reduce CO2 emissions and make the country independent of gas imports from Russia. German politicians who support a different model of energy transformation are concerned about these plans. Apparently, when they make decisions, they don't stop at their borders. 

Poland's commitment to nuclear energy and the planned investments worth EUR 30 billion, including the construction of two or three power plants with a capacity of up to 10 GW by 2033, is contrary to the assumptions of the German energy transformation (Energiewende), which aims at the simultaneous abandonment of coal and nuclear power - writes German newspaper, Die Welt.

German politicians are concerned about the planned location of Polish power plants near the border with Germany and concerns about the safety of future Polish reactors. "Each country can decide for itself what energy sources it will use. (...) But in the event of an accident, nuclear energy is no longer a national issue," emphasized Green MEP Sylvia Kotting-Uhl.

In Poland, where the electricity demand is growing, nuclear power is seen as the only real alternative to coal. In addition, the country does not want to be dependent on energy imports from Russia under any circumstances.

Poland is opposed to the expansion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, seeing them as a hybrid warfare tool, and emphasizes the need for Europe to become independent of supplies from Russia and the dangers related to them, reminds "Die Welt."

Poland, unlike Hungary, also rejects the possibility of cooperation with Russia in the development of nuclear energy. Contracts for the power plant construction will most likely be awarded to companies from the US, but France also sees a chance to cooperate with Poland in this field. South Korea and Japan are also being considered. Poland is also seriously considering miniature power plants which could be built or installed much quicker and with less fanfare.

Thus it seems that the Polish-German conflict over nuclear energy has begun. 

Germany has six nuclear power reactors, and a total of 26 nuclear power reactors are undergoing decommissioning.

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